New Delhi: In the race with China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pitched for a Rs 5000 crore supercomputer for India. But the question is whether it will be enough to match China's prowess.
"Over the past few decades, India's relative position in the world of science has been declining and we have been overtaken by countries like China," the Prime Minister said on Tuesday.
India has 17 per cent of the world population, but publishes only 2.5 per cent of the world's scientific research. Meanwhile, China could topple the US as the world's research powerhouse by 2013. In the 12th five year plan period, the Prime Minister hopes to double the R&D budget for science and technology from 1 per cent of the GDP to at least 2 per cent. A few specific projects could get immediate attention.
"To build national capacity and capability in supercomputing, the implementation will be carried out by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore," the Prime Minister said.
Clearly India needs to close the research gap. But with the country's massive deprivations in need of urgent redressal, Manmohan Singh's wish could just remain a pipe dream.